Anthropogenic or Anthropomorphic Global Warming?

Personification of the forces of nature has occurred since the dawn of time, and mankind has painted his face on the forms of nature, assigned human likeness and sentience to the gods of nature, and even perpetuated the myth that human intervention shaped the appearance of the stars in the night sky. (Orion, other constellations.)

Note this Lion statue from ancient Crete — the shortened muzzle and the expressive brows humanize the face; beside it you see a more modern interpretation from the Duomo Di Modena cathedral in Italy.

As the definition from The Oxford dictionary of Etymology explains, this is known as “Anthropomorphism”

anthropomorphic 1827, from anthropomorphous (1753), Anglicization of L.L. anthropomorphus “having human form,” from Gk. anthropomorphos, from anthropos “human being” (see anthropo-) + morphe “form” (see morphine). Originally in reference to treating God or gods as having human form and human characteristics; of animals and other things from 1858.

Global Warming mythos posits but does not prove that mankind is once again shaping the heavens and earth, and by doing so we are all doomed. To describe this they have borrowed a term originally coined to mean study of mankind’s origins:

an·thro·po·gen·ic or an·thro·po·ge·ne·tic

1. caused by humans: relating to or resulting from the influence that humans have on the natural world

2. relating to origin of humankind: relating to the origin and development of human beings

The Liberal Mythos pantheon is full of strange gods and notions, one is that they believe we are disturbing Gaea by driving SUV’s, and the current prophet predicting this is the Goracle of Doom, head of the liberal temple’s Gaea sect. While there is no doubt that we contribute to the warming of our planet, is it enough to panic over?

Since in the Liberal pantheon there is only one god greater than Gaea, he tells us that Gaea “has a temperature” and that we must look to Government, god of all things, to keep the planet from melting down from Gaea’s wrath.  After all only government is strong or wise enough to keep us from destroying the planet. [If you believe that, I’ve got some FEMA trailers you can buy cheap and some oil you can trade for food.]

According to the fable, Global warming caused it to melt and crash into the ocean in 2002. Here’s a reference, you can poke around a few of these sites who are still telling and retelling this myth, even though it’s unlikely that man was the cause.

Researchers both before (1998) and after (2002) the collapse of the ice shelf knew that there were new active volcanoes under the shelf however.

So, even though the area of the Larsen B shelf has warmed, the general temperature of Antarctica has cooled. Even though Mars is warming in synchronicity with planet Earth and there are mud vents beneath the ice, sixteen smoking vents poking through the shelf, and magma bubbling volcanoes beneath the shelf, man is still the cause to the alarmists.

Here’s a quote from a speech given about the shelf by the Director of the National Science Foundation in 2005:

“The slide shows the dramatic breakup of a massive portion of the Larsen-b ice shelf–an area larger than Rhode Island. Researchers continue to explore the causes of this event.”

Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr.
National Science Foundation

Here are some references on the volcano from NSF:

Sonar maps made of the seafloor during a research cruise in January 2002 first suggested that the volcano exists. The so-called swath maps showed a large concentric and symmetrical feature on the ocean floor that had not been scoured by the advance and retreat of glaciers. The absence of glacial scours indicates the suspected volcano is fairly young in geologic terms.

But it was not until April of this year that scientists were once again able to venture into the region to examine the evidence further.

In addition to mapping, the research team used a bottom-scanning video recorder, rock dredges, and temperature probes to survey the sides and crest of the submarine peak. The video survey revealed a surface that is heavily colonized by bottom-dwelling organisms.

But a dark mat of underwater life is broken along the edges of the volcano by barren patches of dark, black rock indicating that lava has flowed there. Because no life was found on these surfaces, the rock is believed to have formed fairly recently in geologic time.

Rock dredges recovered abundant, fresh, basalt, which normally would be rapidly acted upon and transformed by seawater but appeared unaffected.

Highly sensitive temperature probes moving continuously across the bottom of the volcano revealed signs of geothermal heating of seawater. The heating was noticed especially near the edges of the feature where the freshest rock was observed.

These observations, along with historical reports from mariners of discolored water in the vicinity of the submerged peak, indicate that the volcano has been active recently

more info

So, is the global warming Fable more about us wanting to paint ourselves into every natural picture (anthropomorphism) or is it about us really being the cause (anthropogenic?) I think the former for human hubris knows no bounds –anthropomorphism is as natural to us as biting our nails or or snapping our fingers when we walk out of the room and forget something.

IN the end the shamen and oracles of doom are selling snake oil every time the tale is told, and they count on the very human reaction of assuming responsibility. They want money from you as a donation, or they want money from the government as grants. The large oracles want to influence government to tax you more to create carbon neutrality for the third world as it industrializes, but that’s really all about environmental imperialism. Don’t buy the myth –it will cost dearly if you do.

UPDATE 2010: Back when I wrote this I wasn’t an outright AGW denialist, however I was concerned that AGW was exaggerated, and as you can see I was fully partisan — embedded in the right wing and I thought we had another century at least before we really needed to worry about the problem of AGW (which I’ve known about since reading Asimov in the ’80’s.) I was absolutely wrong. I do have a large amount of shame when re-reading this, especially about omitting the facts that AGW is real and not being 100 percent honest, : Lying through omission because it would have weakened the political thrust of this post.

Since then more and more data and studies have made the case over and over that we must do something about AGW soon, and certainly within this century.